For many Canadians, and people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many financial uncertainties. If you have an advisor, the one thing you may need from them right now is reassurance. If you don't have an advisor, you're likely thinking about finding a trusted one.

Sure, you know advisors aren't epidemiologists, or futurists who can predict market movements. But, you also know that advisors have experience helping people take care of their finances in many different situations.

If you work with an advisor, they may have contacted you to ask, “How are you?” Or maybe, “I'm here for you. Let me know what's changing in your life. We'll build a plan to get through this.” Just knowing someone cares can offer a bit of reassurance. An advisor can help other ways. Here's how.   

Are you experiencing a crisis? An advisor can help.

It's possible that you're dealing with one of many extreme situations right now. Are you dealing with a: 

  • Financial crisis. Are you facing financial uncertainty due to lay offs or declining business?
  • Social crisis. Are you juggling working from home while looking after children who can't go to school or daycare? Are you feeling isolated or anxious from social distancing?
  • Health crisis. Are you or a family member having health treatments delayed because of the crisis? Or suffering after receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis?  

Whatever the case may be, trusted advisors will help you through the good, bad and ugly.
There are simple things an advisor can do - virtually - to help you during this challenging time. They can:

  1. Communicate often. A good advisor will reach out to you to see how you're doing. They'll also let you know how they're available - either by phone or video conferencing.  
  2. Listen to you. When you're connecting with an advisor via phone or video, it's important that you feel they're truly listening. Do you feel they understand what you're going through? Do they know how this crisis is affecting you? 
  3. Share helpful information. It's always important to understand your finances. But it's especially important you understand the financial impact of a pandemic and how it might affect you. An advisor can help. Even something as simple as seeing topical information from an advisor on their social channels may help you feel better. 

How to tell if you have a trusting advisor relationship

Trusting an advisor during times of both calm and crisis is necessary. All good relationships are built on trust. Your relationship with an advisor is no different.

In the context of a relationship with an advisor, trust has three parts:

  1. Personal. You trust that your advisor is sincere. 
  2. Procedural. You trust that your advisor is reliable.
  3. Professional. You trust that your advisor is credible. 

Use this quiz to see how trusted the advisor you work with-or are considering working with-is.

Part 1. Does the advisor show personal trust by:

  • Sharing how they feel about an issue
  • Sharing personal aspects of their life
  • Taking the time to better understand how you're feeling
  • Showing concern and genuine compassion
  • Listening to you more than they speak
  • Asking tough questions and deal with complex/sensitive issues
  • Acknowledging the feelings behind what you're saying and showing empathy
  • Not expecting anything in return

Total ____/8

Part 2. Does the advisor show procedural trust by:

  • Doing what they say they would do
  • Being consistent and accountable
  • Owning their mistakes and doing what it takes to rectify the situation
  • Being on time and treating your time as valuable
  • Only promising to do things they have the time, resources, expertise and genuine commitment to do properly
  • Maintaining appropriate turnaround times

Total _____/6

Part 3. Does the advisor show professional trust by:

  • Discussing and explaining the fees and costs associated with products, solutions, services they offer
  • Listing their designations (e.g. on email signature and website)
  • Communicating what their designations and licences mean
  • Sharing client testimonials and references
  • Admitting when they don't know something and refer you to others that can help
  • Taking time to explain complex ideas, strategies and products in simple terms

Total _____/6

Now, add up the total score and see how the advisor ranks        

FINAL TOTAL __/20

  • 1-5 out of 20 = The advisor likely doesn't have your best interests in mind. It may be time to find a new, trusted advisor.
  • 5-15 out of 20 = The advisor is trusting - but has areas for improvement. Consider sharing ideas about how they can better earn your trust.
  • 15-20 out of 20 = You've found a trusted advisor who puts you first. 

Need an advisor?

If you're not already, consider working with an advisor. A Sun Life Financial advisor will listen and help you develop a plan that's just for you. While you can't meet in person, Sun Life Financial advisors are continuing to meet with Clients virtually. Find a Sun Life Financial advisor today.

Read more: